Wendy TurnerExecutive Director and General Manager
As executive director and general manager, Turner leads WKSU and its staff, planning and directing activities related to a public radio network operation, and overseeing personnel administration and professional development of the staff. She also establishs department goals, objectives and strategies; develops and implements programs and activities to accomplish goals; fosters the station’s position in the marketplace; improves station operations; supports and oversees WKSU’s development effort; and oversees preparation and submission of grant applications. Turner reports to Kent State’s vice president for university relations and serves on the senior staff of the vice president.
In her previous position at Chicago Public Media, Turner led the technology and infrastructure teams, including facilities, information technology, engineering, web and mobile development, and business development activities. She first joined the staff of Chicago Public Media in February 2000 as assistant membership manager and rose the ranks, becoming director of on-air and online fundraising, director of membership and general manager of Vocalo.org before serving as a vice president.
She started her public media career at Minnesota Public Radio in 1994 as a telemarketing associate. Turner also served as member/listener service associate and associate producer of on-air fundraising.
In 2008, Turner was named a “Woman To Watch” by Crain’s Chicago Business, and in 2009, she received a Power Up Award from Street-Level Youth Media.
When she was 20 years old, Turner founded Children’s Castle Theater in Farmington, Minnesota, a community children’s theater casting local youth in original adaptations of classic fairy tales. In its 25-year history, Children’s Castle Theater has given thousands of young people their first stage experience.
Turner earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Turner and her husband, David, recently moved to Akron from the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.